San Jose State University
Kin. 101: Sport in America
December 6, 2012
Labor exploitation is one of the most interesting aspects of Major League Baseball and the way they conduct their business with Latin players. Exploitation is when a social understanding in which a group of people are mishandled for the beneficial gain of others. These people who are being mishandled, are usually aggravated by the people in power. This is comparable with labor situation in the Major Leagues because the businesses or corporations who are in power try to maximize their profit and very little labor expense. These people of course are the ones who have the money and are looking for the lowest cost labor they can find. This is a common theme all across the world as Nike has many sweatshops in Asia and so fourth. Major League Baseball uses this the most in probably any sport and since it is considered our countries past time, it makes it that much more pathetic knowing how they gain for their sport. The media has made us, the public, look at baseball as America’s sport and they display that throughout the game. They sing “Take me out to the ball game”, mentioning that the usual food would be peanuts and crackerjacks. Baseball was one of the first sports that started with having the national anthem sung before the game would start, signifying another way how Baseball has promoted this as America’s game. Now that is how the media portrays Major League Baseball, but the fact is the MLB is far from being “America’s past time”. I will discuss how Major League Baseball uses the ability to buy Latino players from the Dominican Republic as well as Cuba legally and how they are able to do this as a corporation. I will also discuss why these Latino players accept the offers they receive from the MLB. I will explain how these players’ families come into play and the way they are affected by this as well as the Latino community. My paper will discuss the issues these players face by being exploited by Major League baseball and the social aspect of it. Latino Incentive
The game of baseball is been in America for over a century and it is the most common and recognized sport in America. The Latino population has grown in the MLB over the past half century because of how easy and cheap it is to buy the players. Many disagree with the way these teams and their owners are buying these players but it’s a very logical benefit for owners who do it. Since Major League Baseball is a business like any other business, when you want a business to continue to prosper, you try to increase your profit while cutting the cost. The legal aspect of buying these players is very interesting. As George Shepherd explained, “the hiring incentive of Latino players revolves around the legality of child labor laws and minimum wage laws” (Shepherd 2001). These child labor laws that the government regulates applies to not just some Americans, but all. Not only do the child labor laws apply to all Americans, but also the minimum wage laws. With that being said, the rules wouldn’t apply if employees were hired outside the United States. Since the MLB knows that, the owners of the teams can go to foreign countries and recruit young talented players to come to the U.S and play minor league baseball for a low amount of money. This a great benefit for the team because they can develop these players to become potential stars for a little amount but could end up paying big dividends for the organization. Teams now face the luxury of grabbing a Latino player for a lot less than, for example, drafting a player out of a powerhouse college. Another reason that MLB owners go to the route of buying Latino players instead of paying for American players is that a lot of the time, they overpay. According to Scott Rosner and Kenneth Shropshire of “The Business of Sports”, “The situation of rapidly growing salaries coupled with...